Policy Forum for Wales

We are continuing to organise full-scale virtual conferences which retain all the features of physical seminars, including full programmes, presentations with slides, panel discussions and live delegate questions and comments sessions, person-to-person and group networking, and a permanent record provided to all delegates afterwards. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time, so there are plenty of opportunities to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are.
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Poverty and deprivation in Wales - the impact of COVID-19 and the next steps for welfare reform, employment strategies, and tackling child and fuel poverty

August 2020

Price: £95 PLUS VAT

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

Stakeholders and policymakers at this timely conference will examine policy priorities and next steps for tackling poverty and deprivation in Wales.

Areas for discussion include:

  • the key drivers and underlying causes of poverty
  • next steps after the Government’s child poverty review and fuel poverty plan
  • roll-out of Universal Credit
  • local and national employment strategies
  • the COVID-19 crisis and how the Welsh and UK governments, and other key stakeholders, have reacted to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on those living in or in danger of falling into poverty

The discussion in detail:

The COVID-19 crisis - with discussion expected on:

  • how the UK and Welsh Governments, and other key stakeholders, have reacted to attempt to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on those currently living in poverty and in preventing more people from falling into poverty
  • issues such as:
    • job security and housing, and coordinating access to food and essential items in education settings, through local authorities, community groups, hubs, and elsewhere
    • boosting future resilience in providing food as part of a crisis response and the long-term implications of an increased demand on the welfare system
    • what can be learned for the future from cross-sectoral work in response to the current emergency
    • the relationship between poverty and health outcomes, with the ONS finding that the most deprived areas of Wales had almost twice the mortality rate as the least deprived area, with relation to deaths involving COVID-19 in March and the beginning of April

The fundamentals - understanding the key drivers of poverty, taking into account a range of geographical and demographic differences across Wales - with discussion expected on:

  • latest thinking on priorities for addressing the underlying causes of poverty and deprivation
  • assessing developments in policy, best practice and delivery on a local level
  • setting goals and measuring progress - identifying desired positive outcomes for short, medium- and long-term models for supporting individuals and families

Child poverty - looking at key issues, and the organisation of support - including:

  • progress on key challenges for alleviating the impact of poverty on education and attainment
  • collaborative work that is being undertaken to address issues such as food poverty
  • opportunities around early intervention, and examples of best practice in supporting disadvantaged families within the ongoing Families First and Flying Start programmes
  • prioritising work-streams and funding across public, third and private sectors

Employment and income, and Universal Credit rollout - examining local, Welsh Government and Westminster policy and strategies, and how they are interrelating - with discussion expected on:

  • impact of UK Government plans for completing the rollout of Universal Credit
  • national-level policy and initiatives to increase the rate of employment and productivity, and reduce inequalities
  • community focused policy, looking at progress and next steps for investment and regeneration in communities in Wales
  • developing skills and productivity locally, and supporting low-paid workers into higher-paid employment
  • developing secure and higher-paid employment for disadvantaged groups, including women and those balancing paid work with caring and other outside-work responsibilities

Housing - with discussion expected on:

  • improving the quality of accommodation - in particular with aspects such as energy efficiency
  • addressing challenges presented to the private rented sector by low income security and in-work poverty
  • the role of landlords in working with local authorities and tenants

Developments that are relevant to the discussion:

  • The Future Generations Commissioner’s recent report recommending Universal Basic Income be implemented by the Welsh Government, as part of their response to the COVID-19 crisis
  • The Welsh Government’s adding further funding towards the Discretionary Assistance Fund, and greater flexibility in assessing Emergency Assistance Payment applications
  • The current Government review into the impact of programmes on children living in poverty - with a progress update in December indicating a recent rise in child poverty
  • The forthcoming fuel poverty plan from the Welsh Government - with the Wales Audit Office recently reporting a reduction in fuel poverty
  • The Social Partnership Bill to be brought forward this Senedd term, following the final report of the Fair Work Commission
  • Reports that there will be a review into the Job Support Wales scheme
  • The preliminary report from the Wales Centre for Public Policy, laying out the key issues to focus on in considering the future devolution of benefits administration to Wales
  • The inquiry by the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee into using culture to tackle poverty and social exclusion
  • The Welsh Government’s Employability Plan and Economic Action Plan, including aims around regional inequality and fair work

The agenda:

  • Understanding the key drivers of poverty, the impact of COVID-19, and supporting communities across Wales - with Professor Chris Taylor, Cardiff University Social Science Research Park
  • Identifying desired outcomes and measuring performance over time - with Cllr Dimitri Batrouni, Monmouthshire County Council
  • Addressing the underlying causes of poverty - with Rachel Cable, Oxfam Cymru and Rev Ruth Coombs, Equality and Human Rights Commission
  • Next steps for tackling child poverty following the Welsh Government review
  • UK Government policies to combat child poverty - with Andrew Latto and Nadine Davies, Department for Work and Pensions
  • Key challenges for implementing the new fuel poverty plan - with Mark Jeffs, Wales Audit Office and Ben Saltmarsh, National Energy Action Cymru
  • Local and national employment strategies: higher-paid employment, developing income security and reducing in-work poverty
  • Policy priorities for tackling poverty in Wales - with Maureen Howell, Welsh Government

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders.

This one’s no different. Places have been reserved by a range of officials from the Welsh Government as well as from the DWP; Estyn; HM Revenue & Customs and the MHCLG.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

This pack includes

  • Dropbox video recording of the conference
  • PDF transcript of the discussion, including all speaker remarks and Q&A
  • PDFs of speakers' slide material (subject to permission)
  • PDFs of the delegate pack, including speaker biographies and attendee list
  • PDFs of delegate articles